Indianapolis, IN, may be notorious flat, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about the grade of your home. If your home is poorly graded, you’ll want to discuss regrading with local professionals or else risk a lifetime of water damage.
Grading: The Basics
The grade of your lawn refers to the flow of water through it. There are high points and low points in your yard, and your grade will be judged based on where your home is in regard to those points.
To put it more simply, there are two types of grading. These include:
- Positive grading – When your home is built at the highest point of your lawn, your landscape has been appropriately – or positively – graded. This means water will flow away from your foundation and basement, resulting in fewer leaks.
- Negative grading – Homes built at their lawns’ low points are considered to be on negative grades. Water tends to flow toward these homes, and they tend to see more damage.
Before you purchase or build a home, you’ll always want to have a professional come out and inspect the land for its grade. These professionals can talk to you about the waterproofing solutions your future home may need. They can also provide you with a free quote on any services you may be interested in.
What Gives Away Poor Grading?
It takes a certain kind of experience to tell negative grading from positive grading. That said, there are some signs that give a faulty lawn away. These include:
- Spongy soil – Poorly graded soil collects water like a sponge. You can rapidly identify poor grading by assessing the texture of your yard. If you step outside and your shoes are immediately soaked, or you never feel as though you’re on firm ground, you’ll want to get in touch with a contractor to explore your restorative options.
- Ineffective drainage – If your lawn isn’t draining properly, you’ll notice pools of water cropping up in its lowest spots.
- Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes thrive in areas that have high humidity and lots of standing water. If your lawn isn’t properly draining, then it may become a breeding ground for these most annoying insects.
- Drying grass – If your lawn is poorly graded, the patches of grass in its lowest parts may start to die. Pools of water underground can begin to rot away the roots of your grass if it has nowhere to go. Luckily, this sign makes itself relatively obvious, but it can be difficult to reinvigorate your lawn if you don’t invest in regarding.
- Dying landscaping – It may not be your lack of a green thumb that keeps killing your landscaping. Instead, your plants’ roots may be rotting due to the excessive amounts of water in the ground.
If you don’t act quickly, it’s possible that the damage in your yard will only worsen. The consequences of poor grading can often manifest as:
- Rear and side swale holding water
- Unwanted ponds
- Inappropriately high grading around a home
- Unnatural sloping toward a home
- Foundation damage
How Can Contractors Improve Your Grading?
You can talk to one of the contractors in your area about regrading your home after it’s been built. This process is lengthy and expensive, but it can save you a lot of trouble in the years to come.
Alternatively, you can discuss exterior waterproofing measures that can directly help you deal with poor grading. Some of the most effective include:
- Catch-basins – Catch-basins are designed to blend in with your landscaping, making them the perfect additions to a pre-built home. These basins keep the drains surrounding your home free of debris. You can cover them in loose gravel to ensure that water continues to flow freely out of and away from your home.
- Gutters and downspouts – It’s possible you already have grading-proof protective measures installed around your home. They’ll only continue to protect your home from poor drainage, however, if you maintain them. You’ll need to regularly clean your gutters if you want to keep them from overflowing. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure your downspouts are properly aligned, or they won’t direct water away from your home.
Whatever you do, don’t let the weather in the Indianapolis, IN, area keep you from protecting your home. Reach out to a foundation and basement repair professional to start discussing your regrading and waterproofing options as soon as possible.